Tom Fazio is one of our favorite designers, but it seems some of his otherwise sleek layouts are marred by too much fairway detritus.  We played the fine Porters Neck in Wilmington, NC last month.  At 100 yards from some greens, we were disappointed to find wooden stanchions that held two containers of grass seed and sand (see photo below).  They marred an otherwise nice landscape.  To make matters worse, these center-of-fairway posts included an exit sign to direct carts to leave the fairway.  At the phenomenal Cliffs at Keowee Vineyard course in southwestern South Carolina, yardage poles were plunked down at mid-fairway 150 and 100 yards from the green (we played there a year ago).   Director of Golf Dick Grout told us he had spoken with Fazio about the posts but the designer had indicated if they speeded up play, he had no problem with them interrupting his canvas.
    We do.  We suppose there is some rationale for resort and daily fee courses to speed play with these guideposts (although we prefer ours at the edges of the fairways).  But they have no business at private clubs.  Private club members know their courses; getting proper distances should be easy and quick.  How tough is it to find one of those sprinkler heads with accurate distances to front, back and middle of the green, especially when you have played the hole many times?  Second, every golf cart we've used in the last few years has two containers of sand and seed mixture (with fill-up stations around the course).  In the southeast, except during periods of extreme rainfall, carts are permitted on fairways, which means you take a divot, you walk five yards to your cart, you grab the seed container, you sprinkle the divot and drive to your next shot.  How hard is that?
    As for the exit signs 100 yards from the green, anyone stupid enough to drive their carts within a few yards of the green won't be deterred by a sign.  If private club owners are worried about that, they might as well replace the word "Exit" with the words "The End of the World is Near."

Like a dart thrown at the Mona Lisa, it should be against the law to plant wooden posts in the middle of fairways.

Photo by L. Gavrich
    Some of us are old enough (or skeptical enough) to have figured out that what seems too good to be true usually is.  Yesterday I received an email listing for a beautiful piece of property on Daufuskie Island, in the wonderful Haig Point community.  Daufuskie Island is in Georgia but closest to Hilton Head Island, SC, and is reached only by ferry (unless you own a helicopter).  With a view of an island green at the excellent Rees Jones Haig Point golf course, the property is listed at just $199,000 and includes full equity membership in the 27-hole club (a $65,000 value). You won’t find any lot on such a high-quality golf course in the southeast for a lower price.
    But the low lot price is tempered by the cost of construction in a community where all materials and labor must be shipped in.  Count on two to three times the costs of constructing on the mainland, which means 3,000 square feet for over $1 million.  And property owner and club dues combined are on the high end, over $10,000 annually. 
    Still, if you can afford it and want to leave your car and the hectic life behind, Haig Point is definitely worth a look.  The living is easy and the excellent golf at Haig Point is supplemented by two outstanding courses at the Daufuskie Island Resort.
    If you’d like an introduction to a real estate firm that knows the island, its real estate and golf courses, let us know by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..